Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

A Brief (Yet Comprehensive!) Guide to Mobile Learning

A Brief (Yet Comprehensive!) Guide to Mobile Learning

By Yan Sun

reading too much? Whooos ReadingAnytime, anywhere mobile learning can dramatically improve teaching and engagement, bringing more inclusive and consistent education to students.

While students are familiar with cell phones, and use them every day in their personal lives, they have probably never used them for education. Luckily, these digital natives will take to mobile learning quickly, allowing you to make education more engaging and personalized.

Here’s what you need to know before you bring mobile learning into your teaching practice.

The Benefits of Mobile Learning

Mobile learning makes it possible to extend education beyond the physical confines of the classroom and beyond the fixed time periods of the school day. This allows students to access content from home, communicate better with teachers, and work with their peers online—all of which gives them a chance to learn at their own pace and master concepts.

Technology-rich, mobile-based activities also help you sustain higher levels of student engagement and peer collaboration compared to less technology focused activities.

The key to harnessing all these benefits is figuring out how to effectively integrate mobile technology in your instruction.

Challenges Associated with Mobile Learning

As with the use of any technology, there are a number of challenges for teachers just starting with mobile learning. Here are the top four issues you may come up against:

  1. Slow and limited Internet access.
  2. Device variability.
  3. Awkward data input.
  4. Limited storage capacity and memory.

In addition to these challenges, there are some barriers to mobile learning, including the high costs associated with equipment, connectivity, maintenance, technical support and teacher training.

More: How to Bring Technology Into Your Classroom: The Quick and Easy Guide

However, with patience, preparation and practice, you can overcome these problems.

How to Make Mobile Learning Work

Use these five tips to make mobile learning work in your classroom.

1. Mobile-based lessons and homework need to meet the needs of every student, all of which have different preferences, abilities, schedules and levels of connectivity. 

Tools like online discussion forums and real-time polling apps allow you to reach every student in a way that is effective and engaging.

2. Mobile learning content should be accessible to people with various mobile devices in diverse locations.

Any web-based app or website is likely accessible on a variety of devices. Rely on these when using mobile technology for homework assignments.

3. Meaningful and effective mobile learning needs to grab and maintain the learner’s attention.

Use a tool like eduCannon to keep students focused and engaged with video assignments.

4. Minimize error-related problems and excuses—but when I hit save, the app stopped working.

Teach students how to back up their work and make it part of the assignment so they can’t make excuses.

5. Build a system that encourages discussion and student feedback from the beginning.

Regularly ask for student feedback with polls and forms and encourage student discussion using tools like Whooo’s Reading and Padlet.  

Helpful Resources

Mobile learning will take time to get used to, but in the end, will be worth the work. Use these resources to guide you through this process:

10 Obvious Benefits of BYOD in the Classroom

13 Apps and Mobile Tools to Boost Engagement

Creative Ways to Capture Learning With Your Cell Phone

23 Best Educational Websites: Social Media, Chatting and Web Browsing

5 Tech Tools to Improve Collaboration In and Out of the Classroom

Practice, have patience and be open to learning and your skills with mobile technology will evolve and flourish.

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How to Bring Mobile Learning Into Your Classroom

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